Probably old news by now, but President Bush has selected Tony Snow to be his next press secretary. The Wall Street Journal story is here. (Subscription required.)
This seems like quite a bold step. Snow is a very different kind of person than the typical press secretary, and will be very interesting to watch in that role:
Mr. Snow, a Fox News commentator and a White House speechwriter for the former President Bush, has written and spoken frequently about the current president -- not always in a complimentary way. While Mr. Snow is an experienced Washington hand, he isn't among the president's core of advisers.
The Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, circulated unflattering observations by Mr. Snow about the president. "His [Bush's]wavering conservatism has become an active concern among Republicans, who wish he would stop cowering under the bed and start fighting back against the likes of Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi and Joe Wilson," Mr. Snow wrote last November after Republicans failed to win the governor's race in Virginia. "The newly passive George Bush has become something of an embarrassment."
Last month, Mr. Snow wrote that the president and Republicans in Congress had "lost control of the federal budget and cannot resist the temptation to stop raiding" the treasury. In an interview earlier Tuesday, Mr. Snow said, "It's public record. I've written some critical stuff. When you're a columnist, you're going to criticize and you're going to praise."
No one knows how this move will play out, but I like it.
UPDATE: Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post has a good piece with more information:
Snow will become the first Washington pundit -- and an outspoken ideological voice at that -- to take over the pressroom lectern at a time when tensions between journalists and the administration have been running high, over
issues ranging from the Iraq war to investigations involving leaks of classified
"President Bush hates responding to the press, hates responding to political enemies -- he thinks it's beneath him," Snow said on Fox News in March. "He's got a stubborn streak." What the president needed, he said, was "a series of vigorous defenses" of his position.
Sounds good to me.